Inertia and the Teenage Boy

"Well if you ever plan to motor west
Travel my way, take the highway that’s the best
Get your kicks on route 66..."

My son is fourteen years old, which you would never guess by looking at the 6'1", lanky teen. He'll start driver's training soon, so I figured now would be the time for him to get behind the wheel and practice on something other than a go-cart. It was sunny, we were headed to the grocery store, and I tossed him the keys. I figured he could drive out through the neighborhood and I would drive from there - how many years could I age in a few short miles, anyway?

I have his dad's truck while he's in Iraq, which seemed even better from my perspective. The only trouble is it's a MONSTER Dodge truck with one of those hemi engines...not that it competes in the monster truck showdowns or anything, but it does require 3 steps for parking: pull in, back out, straighten and pull back in. It's a little intimidating sometimes - I've scraped the side mirror twice while pulling next to the ATM machine at the bank, but I figured he'd be fine, as long as he drove in the middle of the street.

He hopped in the driver's seat and buckled in, so I told him the basics about Park, Reverse and Drive, how to hold his hands on 10:00 and 2:00 on the steering wheel, and which pedal is which...I suggested taking his foot off the brake and coasting first to see how it steers, then gradually pushing down the accelerator. He must not have understood the word "gradually", as he stomped on the pedal and we went flying forward. He did, however, remember where the brake was located because he used his other foot and stomped on THAT pedal immediately afterwards! That Dodge apparently goes 0 to 60 to 0 in 5 seconds

He looked over at me with this endearing little smirk on his face and said, "Guess I'll have to practice getting the right angle with my foot."

You think?

*This photo should be ample punishment.


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